Do Affliction’s numbers smell fishy?

At first glance, it appeared that Affliction’s first-ever pay-per-view on July 19 in Anaheim was a relative success story. It was announced that the Honda Center sold out for “Banned” and Tom Atencio, the company’s Vice President, stated that PPV buys were expected to be over 100,000.

While the 100,000 mark would have been well short of the UFC’s average, it still would have been a milestone for the fledgling company, as it would have represented the highest total in MMA for a non-UFC PPV in the United States.

However, it appears that Atencio may have mis-spoke, as Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports is indicating that early-cable estimates peg the buys in a range between 50,000-85,000. It had been believed that the event would need to do 250,000-300,000 buys to have a chance to break even.

Steve Cofield, another writer for Yahoo! Sports, also raised some questions about Affliction’s attendance figures last week. According to the California State Atheltic Commission, “Banned” was a sellout with 14,832 people attending. However, after speaking with fellow Yahoo! Sports columnist Kevin Iole, Cofield revealed that Affliction may have padded their attendance totals.

“I had a source tell me that Affliction bought $500,000 of those tickets and that goes into the gate,” Iole is quoted. “(Atencio) admitted that they bought a large number of tickets.”

Apparently the inflating didn’t stop there.

“Anybody who went to the arena on Saturday to purchase a ticket, was able to buy a ticket for $39.95 no matter what price range it was in,” Iole continued. “They discounted all the tickets to $39.95. As a result, the tax on (the ticket) is paid by the promoter so they can say it sold as a $500 or $1000 ticket. It happens in boxing all the time.”

41 COMMENTS
  • Nolan says:

    Yeah the president or vice president, whatever, said they need 300k buys to consider it a success.

    But I guess its all good because they are already talking about an event in october. I guess they knew/know/figured out you gotta spend money to make money, you have to build a name and gather a good talent pool.

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  • Kelvin says:

    Affliction will be forgotten about this time next year…

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  • fightfan says:

    #2

    Without a doubt.

    They probably lost, in the neighborhood of 6 million to as much as ( or 10 million. Atencio said that its 3 and out if they dont make money. What are they goign to do?????Switch up the 6 HW they have signed and somehow sell 600,000 or 700,000 PPV, just to break even???

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  • JoHn says:

    i thought it was a decent show, but having “no draw” tim sylvia on the card doesnt help, and for the newbies former ufc fighters can only help so much.. for the most part it was only true mma fans that rented this fight and lets admit it we even switched back and forth or tivo’ed it

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  • JoHn says:

    i meant tivo’ed the ufc fight

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  • Michael says:

    How is the clothing company doing? Will they be able to lose money and still gain enough advertising to make it worth it??

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  • Kelvin says:

    #6…no way they are selling that many t-shirts….lol

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  • 124124 says:

    how can anyone forget that Fedor kicked some US Ass!!!!!! Well that enough sayd, people will always remeber:)

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  • Dumbshitdouchebag says:

    damn yall mustan forgotten that Fedor kicked your former UFC champions ass, and therefor all this bullshit talk from americans that he aint nr. 1 in the world. Well the match showed enough ;) And he beat your current hw ufc champion 2 times!!!! and therefor Fedor is and will be nr. 1!!! So to say people will forget affliction i dont think so, and it was lots better then that ufc crap the bring out only anderson and bj are worth to watch. so please affliction kill these bloodsuckers from the ufc and bring back the real mma.

    owyeah he doesnt spell good english, yeah so i dont who cares?!

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  • Jeff L says:

    We were talking about Affliction here children, not Fedor. Pay attention.

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  • KOB says:

    Affliction is going down. They are unable to advertise through the UFC anymore. Some other smart clothing company is going to jump in there and sponsor fighters now. Fight fans will then catch on and everyone will forget about Affliction and start buying them instead. Lets face it, the UFC audience is huge and to lose that form of advertising had to be a blow for Affliction.

    Not to mention that a low ball estimation is that they lost 4 mio for the last show. No one will really know though. I don’t know how many shows you can put on losing 2 to 4 mio per show.

    Then we hopefully won’t have to see an Affliction shirt again until they end up on the shelf at Wal-Mart where you can also buy a head of lettuce at the same time w/ in arm’s reach of one another.

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  • aaronb says:

    No promotion the scale of Affliction is going to be profitable right out of the gate. Especially when the UFC counter-programs at the last possible minute in an attempt to cripple it. Would the UFC have put on that free show if Affliction wasn’t viewed as a threat? Is “That T-shirt guy” stupid enough to publicly admit that the UFC put a boot up their 5-Hole by counter programming? I’d venture to say no to both.

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Look, I bought the Affliction ppv and enjoyed it, although the pace was really slow. I even enjoyed watching Lindland fight again, and he’s not well liked on this site. If Affliction puts together another quality card, I’ll watch that one, too. So I’m not very worried about Affliction’s numbers. They either made money or they didn’t. Either way, it’s up to them whether they’ll carry on.

    That having been said, I still question their characterization of the event as “sold out” Previous posts indicated that they comp’ed nearly 25% of the total tickets. Maybe they could’ve sold them all, but they didn’t. Giving away that many tickets seems inconsistent with saying the event sold out.

    #9 Switch to decaff, bro. We’re not the enemy.

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  • [...] promoter so they can say it sold as a $500 or $1000 ticket. It happens in boxing all the time.? Link That wouldve been a steal to walk up and get a great seat for $39.95 but it just confirms the fact [...]

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  • bubbafat says:

    Didn’t Affliction rep’s repeatedly say that they expected to lose money on this show. Crap, IFL lost millions for years on the public market and never got slammed this much. Affliction comes around and sells a product comparable to the UFC ,and self labelled MMA fans shoot it down. I for one have watched KOTC, ROTR, RITC, HCF, MFC, … and so on, with their notably smaller talent pool and frequent bankruptcies, and have never heard or read anybody slam those org’s as much as I’ve heard the “hate on” for Affliction. If anyboy wants to call themselves a fan of MMA and continue to bash all other promotions but the UFC, you are cutting off you nose to spite your face, and playing right into DW’s slimy little Gollum fingers. By the way, up untill the last couple’a years the UFC comp’ed large number’s of tickets to pads their “sold out shows”too.

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  • aaronb says:

    #14

    I am about to say something I never thought I would say in a Million years.

    “Some guy named Bubbafat might very well be a genious.”

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  • Echolocating says:

    Of course the numbers are fudged, but it’s only for public perception. If Affliction admitted the first show was a financial disaster, people would more easily dismiss it. However, just the idea that it was a successful debut might be enough to make people pay attention for the next show. Like, this is more than just a flash in the pan.

    The only thing that makes sense is that the show was a huge initial investment (financial disaster) and that they plan to maybe break even after the 8th show or so. But who knows? Maybe the idea was to just steal investor’s money all along. I guess we’ll know in a year or so.

    Also, does anyone know how much Fedor got as a signing bonus? That had to be a huge chunk of change.

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  • finkrod says:

    Why the hell are so many of you taking joy in the propect of Afflictions failure? God forbid there be MORE fights to watch, huh? Anyone who claims to be exclusively a UFC fan is retarded. A great fight is a great fight no matter where it happens. Even if it’s not to determine who the “Ultimate Fighter” is. You chukleheads can laugh all you want about how Afflictions will be forgotten, in-between re-filling ketchup dispensers at your job.

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  • Lane says:

    I’d wager to say that the revenue generated by those “T-shirts” would blow some people’s minds. Think about the volume of those that have been sold. You can’t go anywhere without seeing someone with one on. They are in every mall. The typical person doesn’t know they are banned from the UFC scene. If the profit margin is only 10 bucks and they have realistically sold a couple 100k of them. 6 million dollars lost to take a chance at tapping into the MMA market is a no brainer. Don’t under estimate the power of a product that reaches the masses.

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  • Mike says:

    I know sites like this make money off speculation, but who gives a fuck? Business is not what makes MMA exciting, its fights. Blog about fucking fights for once in your life.

    Its like the tech blogs – they used to be about innovation and cool ideas, but now all they blog about is who has money and who will fail or succeed.

    Affliction had good fights, therefore it was good for MMA. I hope they can do it again. Thats all that should be said on the subject until we have numbers.

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  • BJJDenver says:

    So, being conservative, they lost about 8 million dollars on one show, though many estimates I have seen, place it at around 10 million. Let’s say they improve their bottom line on shows 2 and 3, and lose only 4-5 million. That is losing upwards of 16 and probably closer to 20 million dollars in well less than a year. IMO, unfortunately, that will end the Affliction experiment.

    The big question, is how do you open a hamburger stand and compete with McDonalds? Some people will like your product better, you use high quality ingredients for the same price, but many will stick with what they know, you can’t out market McDonald’s and as the losses mount, the business suffers and the product likely deteriorates. Let’s say you also own a carwash. You funnel money from that business into your hamburger stand, but it quickly runs dry and you are at risk of losing everything. Now what? You liquidate the hamburger stand and focus on building back up, your successful carwash.

    Your hamburger stand=Affliction Fights
    Your carwash=Affliction clothing
    Your ingredients=Fedor, etc…
    McDonald’s=UFC

    From the little I have seen, numbers wise, Affliction isn’t nearly as large a company as many other clothing lines, like Marc Ecko. I think i read somewhere that Ecko did like 10 times the revenue of Affliction.

    So, the way I see it, they need to greatly reduce their costs or greatly increase their ppv sales. The question is, how do they do that? Cut back fighter pay? Lesser known fighters? More marketing? I hope they figure it out and i will be buying their cards.

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  • mo says:

    i agree with #18. I would never envision paying $80 for a t-shirt, but you figure they had to sell some at their show, so they had to make some profits somewhere. I mean when Attencio declared a couple of days after the event that they did way over 100,000 buys (i think i heard it on the fight network on sirius radio) you had to know he was full of it because he wouldn’t have those numbers by then.

    My guess to Affliction’s strategy is that they take all the money they would use on marketing, and put together a fight card. There really isn’t better marketing for their clothing line then all the attention they got with that event, so you decide whether to lose 3 million on advertising, or 3 million making a card which will gain free advertising. this is probably completely off, but there has to be some reasoning behind what they are doing

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  • jjitzoo says:

    #11…

    and you can buy UFC gear at JCPenny’s, within arm’s reach of a pair of granny panties…what’s your point?

    both are in it to make money, plain and simple. the ufc just happens to have been around a lot longer, thereby having the advantage of riding (if not creatign) the recent mma popularity gravy train, resulting in its name being synonymous with the sport (think in-line skates and Rollerblade, or copy machine and Xerox). this is a good thing for the ufc.

    what is not good is the everpresent mob mentality of ufc protecting its “turf”. hire dana white a publicist or something. when i hear this (albeit very rich) moron f-bomb every other word, and constantly try to bully and verbally pick fights with the competition, i just change the channel, flip the page, etc…

    affliction might not be here to stay, but with the support of the don, they do have pretty deep pockets to dip into. difference between trump and dana (besides the crappy combover)? the don will look you in the face while he kicks you in the nuts…dana will just f-bomb you and shadow box in the corner while your back is turned.

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  • Any fan like myself who had trouble ordering this event knew those numbers seemed a bit fishy, no offense but it wasnt like this was the talk of every regular Joe Schmoe.

    It was a show for Hardcore fans not casual TUF intorduced viewers they watched UFN because they dont know about Affliction just yet.

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  • Jeremy says:

    They have pretty much said they felt they needed to come out with a huge event right off the bat. I think they felt the need to have the first show seen as a success.

    That would explain them buying extra tickets so the gate would be strong. It also explains them claiming to have exceeded 100k buys.

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  • Ian says:

    #19 -

    I agree with you. It’s not even so much site’s blogging about it as people in various comments section or forums waxing poetic about failing or successful business models with what probably amounts to a 3 month Walmart employments worth of business acumen. I’m always amused when these people put on their boxers long enough to get on there mothers computer and tell the Fertittas, Trump, or even Attencio why they suck at business.

    What I really don’t get is the Affliction hate from UFC only fans. All Affliction did was get them a free show they otherwise would not have gotten without their efforts. Even the most mentally incompetent dolt should be able to put together the simple equation that competition = good.

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  • bada55 says:

    1 thing i have to suggest is more advertising ( outta sight outta mind) They’re gonna lower the fighters money (timmy 800K haha) and remember the ufc lost what 45 million the first couple of years and they need more media coverage and a tv deal all they have to do is look where the UFC failed and succeded and do the same !!! they do not have to re-invent the wheel here

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  • doubleA-ron says:

    Going straight to ppv and having basically every fight a main event was a mistake on their part. Put a couple shows on fsn to build up the ppv a few months later and only have like 2 main events. they put atleast a years worth of shows into one night. great for us, but not great for business

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  • ACK! says:

    All I know is that it was one of the few PPVs I’ve bought and I thought it was easily one of the best cards this year. And I can’t wait for the next one.

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  • Davey D says:

    I know this is kind of a snide remark but…I can’t wait until we can get those Affliction shirt’s at TJ Maxx. They’re pretty frickin’ sweet but just too darn pricey for me. I’ll stick with my Miami Ink and Tapout shirt’s that cost $20.

    Did anyone one notice Affliction’s “Heros and Demons” line of shirt’s that start out at an affordable $66.00 AND their Red Label line that begin at bargin busting $78.00. WTF!?! You must be crazy!!!

    At least they’ve found a way to re-coup their loses somehow, right?

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  • darkmetal says:

    I don’t see how a crappy performance by Sylvia amounts to a great performance by Fedor. Each fight seems to see Sylvia look worse. If he loses in an exhibition match with Ken Shamrock, then we will know for sure. And it does appear that it could get to that point.

    Or was it the curse of Andre Arlovski’s “pee-pee-pee” that weakened Sylvia?

    As for the apparently huge losses by Affliction, now you know why the UFC isn’t paying their fighters as much. If you go broke, then who cares how great you are treating the fighters–YOU ARE BROKE!

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  • smoogleton says:

    BJJDenver your “estimates” are totally absurd.

    Whats going on with the slowwww reaction time from the MMA blogs here? We knew all this stuff before the weekend. Meltzer didn’t exactly stand by that estimate so I’m hoping someone can come up with a more substantive figure in the next couple days. Full ratings data for the second EXC show would also be great

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  • damon says:

    i now about 20 people around austin tx that got their money back because the first 40min were blacked out and the rest of the feed was choppy in lots of spots. the night of the fight people in the northeast US were saying that comcast was messing up to. I wonder how many purchases they had to eat? other than the technical issues, that was probable the second best ppv this year. maybe the best since Silva v Liddle.

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  • thomaswhigham says:

    Big ups to affliction even if they overpaid their fighters out of the gate. They should have given them all top heavy percentages deals and just used the free advertising to make the show worth it. I’d give each fighter in the range of 3 to 10% of gross and then divide 50% of the gate up between fighters with winners getting 35% and losers getting 15%. That way affliction keeps 50% gate and gets advertising AND the fighters have no one to blame for low pay but themselves and have no one to cry they were robbed if the show makes millions. Put your rep on the line imo.

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  • Michaelthebox says:

    thomaswhigham: why in the world would the fighters do that?

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  • BJJDenver says:

    Smoogleton, offer some of your own then.

    or do the math.

    85k on high side of sold ppvs. 250k on low side of their break even number. difference is 165k x $45.

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  • bubbafat says:

    A genius? Well maybe not a genius? Just, smarter than the average bear.

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  • ANBUsquad says:

    If this is true, it’s very sad… imagine.. the UFC having a monopoly on all things MMA?… That’s very unfortunate… I mean, why do MMA legends… Randy Couture, Frank Shamrock, Tito Ortiz, left UFC on a ” BAD NOTE ” ?. UFC’s policies are very bad for the sport in general… I was happy when PRIDE was there, at least there’s competition… now PRIDE is gone… do I need to say more. Dana is an asshole! Zuffa is a good example of how evil capitalism is. They destroy other organizations, so that they will have monopoly. Very sad indeed. I hope WAMMA change this. GO AFFLICTION… Please do push thru with the October event… I’ll be subscribing on PPV .

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  • stevefiji says:

    So the T-Shirt Guy has some issues…. surprise, surprise! All the Dana supporters will eventually be vindicated. Midnight Oil Mini-me overpaid (Fedor 1.6 not 300k) so that makes the card approx 4.5 mil PLUS any other dudes who may have been paid ‘under the table’.

    We can also subtract 500k from their 3 million gross on the gate. = 2.5 mil……Hmmmm…

    And now we get to learn that the PPV buys may not be much more than 50K… and he gets approximately 40%… = +800K

    Add in all the marketing costs and salaries, etc… 1- 2+ mil

    That loss is SIGNIFICANT…ohhhh but they get to sell T-shirts you say.
    I say, their T-shirts are Ugly, Babalo Signatures, Sylvia signatures, and Barnett Signatures probably sold about 25 each to family members and gave away 4 times as many after they realized no one bought any. AA probably sold a few hundered and Fedor might have sold a few thousand and that’s your credit to the T-Shirt addition ledger column.

    So all those who say it’s good for MMA are not feeling so confident today.

    Contrary to popular belief, Affiction was NOT good for MMA. It overpaid fighters atrociously, primarily promoted cast-offs and ‘has been’ to the mass market (Fedor excluded – Fedor is and always will be the real deal), tried to promote yet ANOTHER set of worthless belts (Phi Slamma WAMMA), added a 20yo metal show to the card just to show how cutting edge the MMA fans are, promoted ugly ass T-Shirts, and lost a shitload of money trying to prove that they had a new formula that works.

    I am all for competition, but when we want the best to fight the best…. the NFL, NBA, MLB, ATP, WTA, et al, they have it right…. Affliction wanted to make it like it is Bob Arum to the UFC’s being Don King…. NOPE it’s more like the USFL to the NFL and now answer honestly, how was the USFL good for football?

    But we got to see more fights you say…. I say “NO!!! You got to see Fedor because he has idiot management and a bunch of UFC cast-offs and a rebel (Barnett) who could and should do more for tehoir careers by fighting thebest talent in the best organziation and getting maximum exposure for outside endorsements.

    But you say, look at what boxers make! I say, look at that whole system… of the ‘Haves’ and ‘Have Nots’ look at what the UFC gives it stable on a whole and the GROWTH that is still coming…. MMA is in its infancy stages… it’s a baby!…. give it 10 more years to level out a bit, get more collective bargaining and THEN look at what these guys will get… far more than with silly ass T-Shirt guys saying they are doing good for the fighters when all they are doing is trying to survive because once they got banned by the UFC, they knew no one would buy their ugly ass shirts unless they did their own show

    The UFC invested heavily, lost heavily and created a near cultural phenomenon. They STILL need to solidify the 50 states and the world markets with one solid voice, one set of rules and a ‘reasonable’ level of integrity. Now many will challenge what is reasonable and i would say, the UFC ain’t perfect but it’s light years ahead of boxing and that’s good enough for me right now… and THAT, my friends is what’s good for MMA.

    and now we learn Tito and Babalo may headline the next card…. Yeah that’s sooooo good for MMA….HAhahahahahahahahah!

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  • ctownhood says:

    Heck, most real MMA fans can’t afford $80 tshirts anyways ;)

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  • derreckla says:

    $60 t-shirts that are $5 worth of material that have designs that are worse then then the Metallica and slayer shirts I wore in high school. Without advertising on UFC how long do you think GROWN MEN will fall for this shinanigan?

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